What You Need To Know About The UMass Offense
– The offense did its part – especially late in the season – to crank up the passing game, and it’ll be great again. The Minutemen averaged close to 300 yards per game through the air with an efficient, explosive style that kept the pressure on.
Star tight end Adam Breneman is done, but Andy Isabella returns after leading the team with 65 catches for 1,020 yards and ten scores. He’s not alone, with seven of the top eight pass catchers back after a year when six players caught 21 passes or more. And to run the show …
– Andrew Ford is back after a magnificent year. Ross Comis is a strong backup who can and did step in when needed and produced, but it’s Ford who’ll be one of the most efficient passers in college football again after throwing 22 touchdown passes and four picks. Expect the UMass passing game to crank up close to 4,000 yards.
– The offensive line lost OT Jack Driscoll to transfer to Auburn, but the other four starters return along with all of the backups. That’s the positive – now they have to pass protect. The Minutemen quarterbacks were whacked around, getting sacked 46 times.
The running backs need room, too, with Marquis Young leading a deep group with the potential to get close to 2,000 yards, but they all need to average more than the 3.89 yards per carry from last season.
Biggest Key To The UMass Offense
The third down conversions need to be there. With so many good receivers, and with veteran quarterbacks running the fun, there’s no excuse to convert just 35% of the third down chances again. Even when the team was winning, the offense wasn’t moving the ball well enough with a string of six games in sevens converting 28% of the time or fewer.
The program hasn’t been over 40% for a year since it moved up to the FBS level. This is the time to change that.